GMAT – The Graduate Management Admission Test is an entrance test for Post Graduation courses such as MBA, MiM and some specialized Masters. The test mainly focuses on analytical writing, quantitative, verbal and integrated reasoning skills. 

Scoring in GMAT can be a task as you have to prepare for four different topics and each portraying a different skill of yours. Your GMAT score depends on how many questions you answer, how well you do those questions and how these questions were placed in the test. This is the main reason most of the universities prefer GMAT over other entrance exams for MBA. The test is scored from 200 to 800. 

Your GMAT score is highly important for the school of your dreams to pick you. That is because it displays your knowledge in business studies. While the mean GMAT score is 561.27 according to the board of examination, 650 and above is always preferred by the colleges. But this is not a cut-off in any of  the universities.

Good GMAT scores for top Business schools 

There is no cut-off GMAT score in B-schools, but major Business schools like Harvard, Stanford, Insead, etc. look for students who score 700+ in the entrance. 

These B-schools are ranked top not just by their ability to train students to their best, they are ranked top based on their course and curriculum, their placements and many such factors. Students who graduate from the top 10 B-schools are awaited by fortune 500 companies and are usually placed by the time they graduate. It is also true that these B-schools look for much more than just score for admission. Let us take a look at the Top 10 B- schools of the world ranked in 2019 for MBA.

Here is a list of average GMAT score of Top B-schools:

S. No.B-SchoolsAverage GMAT
1.Stanford Business School, California737
2.Harvard Business School, Boston730
3.Wharton Business School, Pennsylvania732
4.London Business School, UK708
5.MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts670-760
6.INSEAD, Singapore709
7.HEC Paris, France690
8.Chicago (Booth), US730
9.IE Business School, Spain680
10.Columbia Business School, NewYork734

Now, these are the B-schools that are ranked top 10 in the world. Let us see the other B-schools which are open for options with a decent ranking.

USA

Studying in the USA is a dream for so many. So many students wish to do their Masters in the USA. Considering the number of applicants increasing by 12% every year the competition keeps getting tougher. It is also true that the US has many universities to offer. So, if not one you might definitely have multiple options to choose from. The country has enormous openings for MBA admissions through GMAT and average GMAT vary massively.

Here are some of the top B-schools and their average GMAT scores:

S. No.B-schoolsAverage GMAT 
1.Northwestern University 732
2.Yale university730
3. University of Michigan716
4.University of California, Los Angeles719
5. University of California, Berkeley717
6.University of Texas, Austin703
7.Cornell University 700
8.Boston University680

UK

London is another option for you to consider if you wish to pursue an MBA. The city is booming with so many opportunities in the Business domain for students and has plenty of job openings as well. There are also very good Business schools and some of the World’s Best Business Schools are located in London. 

Here are a few top B-schools of London with their average GMAT scores:

S. No.B-Schools Average GMAT
1.London Business School 708
2.Judge Business School, University of Cambridge690
3.Said Business School, University of Oxford690
4.Warwick Business School 680

India

India also has the best education in Masters when it comes to Business studies. The IIMs (one year MBA full-time program) in India are very popular for courses of higher studies in Business Management. 

Here are some of the top Business schools in India and their average GMAT scores:

S. No.B-Schools Average GMAT
1.Indian School of Business, Hyderabad700
2.Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad700
3.Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore690
4.Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta700
5.Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow680
6.XLRI, Jamshedpur700
7.Indian Institute of Management, Indore580
8.S.P. Jain School of Global Management (GMBA)660

Not all B-schools have these high GMAT. There are plenty of decent Business schools which take up the score just above 600 too. Hence, it depends on which B-schools you are aiming at and how much effort you put into your studies. The required GMAT score depends on your profile, gender, ethnicity and many other factors. 

How is GMAT scored

GMAT is an Adaptive test. Meaning, it adapts to your answers and places on a range of 200-800 based on your performance.

Now, this is how it works,

  • At first, it asks you a couple of questions on a certain difficulty level, let us say that answer is valued 500. If you answer it correctly, it places you above 500. It means that your next few questions are going to get difficult. If you keep answering correctly, your score increases and you will be asked a tougher question each time. If you guessed your answer correct, the system identifies your false correct in the next few questions. 
  • This doesn’t mean if you get the first few questions wrong, you won’t be scoring less. The test simply throws a difficult question at you again until it makes sure of your place. Once you pick up and start performing, it takes you up. 
  • Now the question is, what if you score the difficult ones right and if you get one wrong in the process. The system now knows that you lie between your starting score and the wrong one and starts asking easier questions to give you your perfect score. Hence the test adapts to your answers and gives you an exact score.
  • This score allotted by the system is in the increment of 10 for every right question. The standard error of measurement is 30-40. These scores are combined with the marks you obtain. This raw calculation will then be converted to a number on the score range.

Now let us see how many questions are asked and what are the marks given to them.

There are three sections in which the calculation of the score is different. They are,

  1. Analytical writing Assessment: Each essay is scored twice, once by a human reader and once by a computer. The average of this gives the final score for the section. Scores allotted to this section is 0-6 in intervals of 0.5
  2. Integrated Reasoning: If you answer all parts of the question correctly, only then the score is credited to you. The score ranges from 1-8 in intervals of 1.
  3. Quantitative and Verbal: This section is scored on the basis of three factors
    • Number of questions answered
    • Number of questions correct
    • The difficulty of the question answered and other parameters

This section is scored 6-51 and in intervals of 1. 

Want to know how to improve your score in verbal? Check this out!

Now that we know how the exam is scored and how you will be evaluated, let us see how your scores are related to GMAT percentiles.

GMAT percentiles

The GMAT percentiles are mainly your performance compared to the other students who also took the exam with you.

Your score might remain the same, but your percentile varies every year as it will be recalculated with the new test-takers. The score validity for the GMAT exams is 5 years.

Here is the score and percentile chart:

GMAT ScoreGMAT Percentile
80099%
75098%
70088%
65073%
60056%
55039%
50027%
45017%
40010%
3506%
3003%
2502%
2000%

The elaborated percentile sheet is available on the GMAT official website.

Hence your percentile is just to provide you with a ranking among the people who wrote the exam. Therefore, one could infer that the percentile is not a measure of one’s performance in the examination. 

Good GMAT score for you

MBA these days is being pursued by a lot of students and hence graduating from a good B-school is very important. Though 600-650 is considered a good GMAT score in general, the score you obtain is still perfect as long as it fulfils the criteria of the B-school you are wishing to join. 

First, you need to identify your capability and understand what B-school you want to join. You should take into consideration your financial condition in mind while deciding the B-schools. Keep in mind at least 5-6 different B-schools as backups and 2-3 B-school as a goal. Once you figure that out you can start focusing on the required scores of those B-school and start working.

But ultimately, you need to score a minimum of 650 and anything above that in order to graduate from a good Business School. Hence, keep a higher target but make sure you don’t fall below 650.

You can easily score a 650 and above if you prepare for a proper 3 months. This should include all the practice papers, mocks, and training sessions if any. If you have more time, then target for a better score. You should follow a routine and study regularly to get a high GMAT score. It is also highly recommended that you take mock tests to get a good understanding of the test platform and behavior. That way you will be comfortable with the environment and you can do well in the main GMAT exam.

Good luck with your GMAT exam prep!

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